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Compression Physics in the Formulation Development of Tablets

Compression Physics in the Formulation Development of Tablets



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Published by: Thiago Moraes da Costa on Jul 22, 2011
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Critical Reviews
in Therapeutic Drug Carrier Systems, 23(1):1–65 (2006)
Compression Physics in theFormulation Developmentof Tablets
Sarsvatkumar Patel, Aditya Mohan Kaushal, & Arvind Kumar Bansal
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology (Formulations),National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research(NIPER), S.A.S.Nagar, India
Address all correspondence to Arvind Kumar Bansal, Department of PharmaceuticalTechnology (Formulations), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education andResearch (NIPER), S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab-160 062, India;
akbansal@niper.ac.in or bansalarvind@yahoo.com (A. K. Bansal)
Dr. Changquan Sun, Amgen, One Amgen Center Drive, MS 21-2-A,Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-1799
 The advantages of high-precision dosing, manufacturing effi-ciency, and patient compliance make tablets the most popular dosage forms.Compaction, an essential manufacturing step in the manufacture of tablets, in-cludes
(i.e., volume reduction and particle rearrangement), and
con- solidation 
(i.e., interparticulate bond formation). The success of the compactionprocess depends not only on the physico-technical properties of drugs and ex-cipients, especially their deformation behavior, but also on the choice of in-strument settings with respect to rate and magnitude of force transfer. This re- view discusses various properties of drugs and excipients, such as moisturecontent, particle size and distribution, polymorphism, amorphism, crystal habit,hydration state, and lubricant and binder level of the blend that have an influ-ence on compaction. Tableting speed and pre/main compression force profile,also have a bearing on the quality of the final tablet. Mechanistic aspects of ta-bleting can be studied using, instrumented punches/dies, instrumented tablet-ing machines, and compaction simulators. These have potential application inpharmaceutical research and development, such as studying basic compaction
 © 2006 by Begell House, Inc. www.begellhouse.com
mechanism, process variables, scale-up parameters, trouble shooting problembatches, creating compaction data bank, and fingerprinting of new active phar-maceutical ingredients (APIs) or excipients. Also, the mathematical equationsused to describe compaction events have been covered. These equations de-scribe density–pressure relationships that predict the pressures required forachieving an optimum density. This understanding has found active applicationin solving the analytical problems related to tableting such as capping, lamina-tion, picking, sticking, etc. Mathematical models, force-time, force-distance, anddie-wall force parameters of tableting are used to describe work of compaction,elasticity/plasticity, and time dependent deformation behavior of pharmaceuti-cals. Various indices of tableting performance such as the bonding index, brittlefracture index, and strain index can be used to predict compaction related prob-lems. Compaction related physico-technical properties of commonly used ta-bleting excipients have been reviewed with emphasis on selecting suitable com-bination to minimize tableting problems. Specialized tools such as co-processing of API and excipients can be used to improve their functionality.
compaction, consolidation, particle deformation, tablet ins-trumentation, force-displacement profile
 The use of pills and powders to administer drugs was reported as early as 1550
in Papyrus Ebers. The pill continued to be one of the most common dosageforms until the middle of the 20th century, when mass-production of tablets was introduced by the pharmaceutical industry following the invention of thetableting machine, patented in 1843 by William Brockedon.
Pharmaceuticalproducts have historically been administered to the body using a relatively basicdrug and excipient combination in suitable dosage form, usually resulting inrapid release and systemic absorption of the drug(s). Different delivery tech-nologies and routes of administration have been used to ensure optimal admini-stration of therapeutic agents. All along the history of pharmacy, oral route hasbeen the most preferred way of drug administration and oral solid dosage formshave been widely used mainly because of their convenience of administration,ease of manufacturing, accurate dosing, and patient compliance.
Out of pow-ders, granules, pellets, tablets, and capsules, tablets have been the dosage formof first choice in the development of new drug entities
and account for some70–80% of all pharmaceutical preparations.
A flow-chart of the relationshipbetween solid pharmaceutical dosage forms is shown in Figure 1.
Pellet PowderCapsules Film coating TabletsImmediate releaseControlled release
Spatial release
Temporal releaseGranules
Relationship between the various solid dosage forms.
 Tablets can be made directly from powders, granules, pellets, or film coatedmultiple units. The prerequisite, however, is that the material must have goodcompressibility to form a tablet.
In general, the tableting process involves, ap-plying pressure to a powder bed, thereby compressing it into a coherent com-pact.
The simplest process for tableting is direct compression, in which thedrug(s) and excipient(s) are dry mixed and then compacted. For this process tobe successful, the powder mixture requires certain properties, such as highflowability, low segregation tendency, and high compactibility. Pharmaceuticalpowders often lack these properties and must, therefore, be pretreated with aparticle modification process before compaction.
Generally, this pretreatmentis a granulation step in which the primary drug(s) and the excipient particles areagglomerated into larger secondary particles (granules or agglomerates), usually of a higher porosity than the primary ones. Techniques to improve tabletability involve different granulation techniques, both wet and dry, and special wetgranulation techniques, which yields almost spherical agglomerates, such as pel-letization, or extrusion–spheronization.
Compaction represents one of the most important unit operations in thepharmaceutical industry because physical and mechanical properties of the tab-lets, such as density or strength (hardness/friability), are determined during thisprocess. Dosage form integrity and bioavailability is related to the tablet com-pression process. The production of compressed tablets is a complex processinvolving many variables and a number of engineering principles and the com-plete understanding of the physics of compression has been an ongoing proc-

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